By Douglas A. Phillips

Inhabited by means of the Taino Indians because the 7th century, the Dominican Republic grew to become the location of the 1st eu payment within the Americas whilst Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain in 1492. Santo Domingo proudly boasts the 1st cathedral, citadel, medical institution, monastery, college, palace, and streets within the Americas. as soon as governed by means of Spain, France, and Haiti, the rustic ultimately received its independence in 1844 and modeled its structure after the U.S. structure. A legacy of unsettled, nonrepresentative rule undefined, capped through the ironfisted dictatorship of normal Rafael Trujillo. this day, the Dominican Republic is a democratic republic with a huge railway and an economic system in accordance with tourism. end result of the significant inequalities one of the wealthy and the bad, Dominicans nonetheless face many hardships, and excessive unemployment is still a problem. within the Dominican Republic, discover this island nation's background, tradition, peoples, and executive.

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During the heat of the day, workers take an extended break that lasts from about noon until midafternoon. ) A large and leisurely lunch is often followed by a siesta, or nap. This tradition comes from the Spanish, and the break is called la bandera. Many people believe incorrectly that the siesta is associated only with the tropics and the region’s intense heat. Actually, it has little to do with weather. The practice appears to be a widespread European custom that was brought to the Caribbean during colonial days.

DEmograPHy anD Human WELL-bEing Various demographic data also can tell us a great deal about the well-being of a selected population. There are many different indices that experts use to determine how well off a selected population is relative to others. In Chapter 7, you will learn about the Human Development Index (HDI); it is one measure of well-being that takes into consideration a number of factors. Here, we will stick to demographic data. 47 48 The Dominican Republic Life expectancy of Dominicans—on average how long they live—is almost 74 years.

It was a golden age in Dominican history, with new public works and modernization projects in Santo Domingo. Trujillo in 1930. Trujillo was elected without opposition, as he had eliminated all potential 39 40 The Dominican Republic The Trujillo Era (1930–1961) is known as one of the bloodiest of the twentieth century. Rafael Trujillo (center, saluting) ruled over the Dominican Republic for more than 30 years, assigning positions to family members such as his wife, Dona Maria (left), and his brother, Hector (right), and brutally oppressing the country’s citizens and border Haitians.

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